Tag Archives: Categories

Uploading your Self-Publishing Paperback to KDP Print

We all know that KDP Print is likely to be taking over from Createspace when they finally close their doors (after all we’ve seen go on in the last 12 mth) I thought it would be good to do a presentation for those who wish to use KDP Print.

In the early days, I heard a lot of complaints.  Their book cover wrap kept rejecting book covers which Createspace always accepted. There were no Author priced copies, the author was paying the same as any other customer… etc.

Needless to say they have slowly improved as the last 12 mths progressed. People are happier with their service. I have just put up my first book to see what all the fuss is about and so I can give this presentation to you all.  

How it Works



As you can see from the above image you need to select what you wish to do. For this presentation is it the Paperback. Click on this and you will go to the next image shown.

Following the details, you need to  pick the language, put in your book title and any subtitles it may have along with any series information.  As you scroll down you’ll see more area’s to fill in. What is the edition? Who is the Author? Are there any contributors?

Now for the description or synopsis.  These are difficult to write and need to be in about 500 words. It needs to give a brief glance into your story. Who are the main characters? What is the story about?

Next you choice your copyright and Keywords.  I will talk about the keywords below the image. They can be really tricky.

KEYWORDS  You need to use short phrases, make a list on a piece of paper about your story, narrow down the words, think of different words you can use or what readers may search for to find your book. The smaller the category the bigger your chances of being in the top 100.

Categories – I really dislike these.  They aren’t brilliant. In my opinion they’re too vague. You still need to pick two which you think are closest to your story.  If it has adult content then make sure you put in YES.  


On the second page of KDP Print you get to choose a FREE ISBN or use one you already own. There’s also a publication date…However I’ve never used this either here or on Createspace.

The next part is the same as LULU – though as you can see it is at a later stage in the process. Below are the details where you can pick what you wish the interior of your book to look like. The ones you see highlighted are the ones generally used by most paperback distributors.  The costs will vary to what you pick in size and page count.

After you have chosen the interior details, you can upload your formatted manuscript.  Make sure your manuscript matches the above details – margins, paper size etc. You will want it to look professional and like any other book you may find in your local bookstore or library.

The second part of the above image is all about your cover.  Many Authors have covers made for them, 95% of the time they will be wrap book covers which fit the page count.  This means they are front, back and spine.  They will be delivered to you from your graphic artist as a PDF and you or your publisher will upload it.  

If you don’t have a print ready PDF Cover then you will need to launch the Cover Creator. Of course I forgot to get images of this process.  However it is rather simple.  You get to choose a book cover template and upload the e-book cover to it. Next you will need to type in or copy and paste the synopsis on the back cover and add any logos, profile image, bio…etc.  Next you will review the cover.

The above image shows the book cover and interior so you can check it is what you wanted. As you can see I have missed a few things on mine. Page numbers at the bottom. copyright page and author name/book title in the header.  I did this to show everyone that mistakes can be made. I will be updating this book Later.  If they pick out any errors you will need to fix them.


Since the site is American you will need to pick a price for the book which is higher than the Min.  The List Price shows the book needs to be above $3.58 So depending on how much royalty you wish to make on your book is how you price is.  As you can see i priced at $3.99  – It is a novella in length.  After the American pricing you can then sell it on the other 6 market places. Once again you can price it what you want or base it on the American price.  You can use which marketplaces you wish.

In the next image you can see the Japanese Price List.  I’ve never sold on there, though I know a few who have. Make sure you read the terms and conditions, especially if you are a first time author.  Once done you can purchase your proof copy.  Some authors like to get the paperback in hand prior to pressing PUBLISH…which you can see on the bottom right of the image.

Of course once you hit PUBLISH you get the Congratulations notice along with being asked if you have yoru story as an ebook.

Once you go back to your BOOKSHELF you will find your book will be under REVIEW, just like in Createspace. Now is the time to wait for your email to see what you’ve missed or if you’re in the clear and it can go LIVE

Thank you for reading my presentation.

I do hope it helps with your publishing. 

Maximize your Book Sales with Amazon

Published on A Marketing Expert showing you all you need to know to maximize your book sales.  They have some great articles. Please check them out when you can.


Amazon Categories to Maximize Book Sales + A Little-Known Secret!

Everyone wants more exposure on Amazon. And understandably. Exposure drives book sales.

But, as we seek more exposure, don’t spend all of your time focusing on great keywords. Why? Because, yes, although keywords are important, critical even, they aren’t everything.

I often tell authors that they should focus on narrow categories to sell more books. This is because categories with fewer books have lower competition for the #1 spot. And, the top ten is a great place to hit, because Amazon’s algorithms kick in as you start to spike within categories.

That means you get more exposure. Which is what you need to sell more books.  And remember, book sales are your ultimate goal.


The Truth About Amazon Categories and the Big Reveal

When speaking to a contact at Amazon recently, I mentioned that authors need more categories.

I told the Amazon person that the more categories a book has, the better visibility a book will get on the site. It’s the same concept of having McDonald’s and Starbucks locations all over the place, only online. The more places your book appears, the better your book sales will be.

When setting up their books, most authors go with two, because that’s what a lot of the advice recommends. If you were grandfathered into the old Amazon system, you might have four.

But what I learned from my Amazon contact is that, in fact, you can get up to ten categories for your book.


This means that your book can now show up in ten places instead of two. That’s great news, right?

And it’s not that hard to do this. Actually, it’s pretty easy. Ready to learn how? Let’s go!


Picking Smart Categories

First off, when I talk about Amazon categories, I’m always referring to eBook categories instead of print categories.

Why? Because there are more eBooks on Amazon than there are print books. Some authors go straight to eBook and don’t even bother with a print book. As a result, the eBook side of Amazon is more weighted down with titles. And, in the end, this is better for your book sales.

Next, picking eBook categories is powerful way to get exposure for your book. If you haven’t dug around on Amazon to find these very creative categories, you should spend a few minutes doing so.

To find the eBook categories, head to the Kindle Store on the Amazon site. You should see this down the left-hand side of the screen:

From there you can click any of these main categories for drop downs. And that’s where the sweet spot is. By applying some strategy to which categories you choose, you’ll see a boost in exposure and ultimately, book sales

You can really find some great smaller niche categories – even for some of the biggest, most cluttered genres.

Let’s have a look at two of these busy markets: business and, separately, health.

Business books

If you look down the left-hand side of the first screen shot, you’ll see that I clicked down from: Business > Management > Communication in Management.

For many of you who write in the business genre, “communication in management” may not seem like a correct category. That is, until you look at some of the books that are in there. They cover topics like communicating, business communication, and team building.

Next, take a look at the number of books in this genre. See the orange box below:

Out of the millions of books on Amazon, 721 is not a big number. This has the potential to be an ideal category for your book.

And yes, you can find categories that are even narrower. In some cases, I’ve found Amazon categories with as few as 41 books.

That’s why it’s so great to have the option of ten categories now. You’ll find some that are completely amazing. And, there will be others with more books than you might like, but that are still a good fit for your book.  And again that added exposure is what will drive book sales.

Health books

Now let’s have a look at the health market, because this is another busy market. As an example, have a look at the Women’s Health category within the Health market.  See how many books are sitting in that particular segment?

That’s a lot of competition! But if you dig deeper and experiment with some other markets, you can really whittle this number down:

Dealing with a thousand books is much easier than trying to wrestle to the top of a list of forty or fifty thousand titles.

But remember, these are two extreme examples to illustrate how to get creative with your searches. In almost every case, there are other elements or aspects of a book that can be highlighted using the categories.

“Difficult” categories

On the flip side, there are those difficult categories where it’s hard to get traction no matter what you do.

There are two things Americans don’t like to discuss: whether they’ve saved enough for retirement (because most people haven’t) and death, for obvious reasons.

So when you have a book with a difficult topic, or something that’s difficult to place or categorize, try to find the obvious benefits.  By this I mean find a place the book at the reader’s pain points.

We once worked with a book on Lyme Disease and the searches for Lyme disease were really bad on Amazon. The books all had terrible sales rank and though there wasn’t a ton of competition, there wasn’t a lot of activity in terms of sales.

Why? Because most people weren’t searching under Lyme disease. Instead they were searching under the symptoms (pain points) and that’s where we put the book. When we did, the performance changed quickly.

Another example of this was a book about teen suicide as it relates to bullying. For obvious reasons, the author had originally categorized the book under “suicide,” but it did really poorly. I asked her to move it under ‘teen health’ and again, it did a lot better!

Categories That Will Help You Hit Bestseller Status

Regardless of your genre, you’ve probably always thought how great it would be to be a bestseller, right?

Here’s a hint: narrow categories can do that for you.


And while you may not become a #1 bestseller across Amazon, you could still “own” your category and dominate it. The goal of this exercise isn’t just to potentially hit bestseller status, but to surge your book within the Amazon machine.

So which categories are best? Well, as I said before, if you can find narrow ones that relate to your topic, are part of the benefit, or are an outcome, grab it!

A Difference for Fiction

Fiction authors often get a chance to expand their categories even further.  They have the option to “refine by” themes, heroes, and settings.

Here’s what it looks like, this screen grab was taken from the Inspirational Romance section of Amazon:

As you can see under “Romantic Heroes” there are a lot of options available. These are additional ways to categorize your fiction book. They don’t appear under all fiction, however. For example, literary fiction doesn’t give you these options.

It’s important to note that these are categories, but you can’t pick them like you would the other categories I showed you. Instead, these are keyword-driven. And, in order to put your book in them you’ll need to add keywords to the back end.

How many should you grab?

Well, I’d start with just two. Because while they’re great to have, you still have the option of adding ten more categories. In other words, these are just bonus categories you can add, via keywords on your Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard.